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Neuron. 2004 Nov 18;44(4):677-90.

CPG2: a brain- and synapse-specific protein that regulates the endocytosis of glutamate receptors.

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The Picower Center for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Long-term maintenance and modification of synaptic strength involve the turnover of neurotransmitter receptors. Glutamate receptors are constitutively and acutely internalized, presumptively through clathrin-mediated receptor endocytosis. Here, we show that cpg2 is a brain-specific splice variant of the syne-1 gene that encodes a protein specifically localized to a postsynaptic endocytotic zone of excitatory synapses. RNAi-mediated CPG2 knockdown increases the number of postsynaptic clathrin-coated vesicles, some of which traffic NMDA receptors, disrupts the constitutive internalization of glutamate receptors, and inhibits the activity-induced internalization of synaptic AMPA receptors. Manipulating CPG2 levels also affects dendritic spine size, further supporting a function in regulating membrane transport. Our results suggest that CPG2 is a key component of a specialized postsynaptic endocytic mechanism devoted to the internalization of synaptic proteins, including glutamate receptors. The activity dependence and distribution of cpg2 expression further suggest that it contributes to the capacity for postsynaptic plasticity inherent to excitatory synapses.

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